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With The Advent Of Digital Signage, Television Is Finally
Changing And Data Call Is On Top Of The Industry
Data Call Technologies, Inc.
600 Kenrick, Suite B-12
Houston, TX 77060
President and CEO
Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
Published August 31, 2007
Data Call Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB: DCLT) was
created in 2002 as Digital Signage began to stake its claim in the world of advertising.
Digital Signage has the ability to keep advertising fluid and in motion.
Signage is a relatively new and exciting method advertisers are using to promote, inform,
educate, and entertain clients and customers about their businesses and products. Through
Digital Signage, companies and businesses can use a single television or a series of flat
screen televisions (displays) to market their services and products on site to their
clients and customers in real time; because Digital Signage advertising takes place in
real time, businesses can change their marketing efforts at a moments notice.
Digital Signage include, the ability to immediately change a digitally displayed image or
advertisement depending on the businesses current clients and customers, and not getting
locked into (days or months in advance) print advertising, which may become stale or
obsolete prior to the run date of such print advertising.
advertising helps companies target their marketing efforts to individual customers, helps
advertise and sell inventory at the point of purchase, which appeals to those individual
customers and thereby helps increase revenues.
Technologies, Inc., with its Direct Lynk Messenger system (DLM) enables clients to enhance
their own Digital Signage through their web portal at www.datacalltech.com. Clients are
able to pick and choose which news, weather by zip code (including Doppler), sports and
information feed(s) they desire from Data Calls servers, delivered across the
Internet, to single or multiple displays within their establishments. Clients are required
to have 1) a supported, third-party, video decoder box (player), which receives the data
from the servers, then seamlessly presents the content on the clients displays, and 2) an
The feeds can
be displayed in various formats controlled by the player; scrolling, roll-up, fade,
anywhere on the display. Clients may also incorporate various video inputs, such as
DVDs, cable channels, etc creating a fusion of custom content being displayed within
a client's establishment. This ultimately creates the clients own custom channel.
Not only does
the DLM allow customers to pick and choose their news and information feeds, it also
empowers the clients to include their own user-defined scheduled, or fixed messages and
advertising via the Express Messaging module merged within the data feed; the client can
simply insert any text they prefer at a moments notice, and choose which individual
locations they desire to receive the feeds. For example:
A bar owner may wish to offer a specific drink special during the
final minutes of a football game. With an internet connection and browser, the bar owner
can log in from anywhere and enter the drink special message into the Express Messenger
Module during the game, with one click, he or she would broadcast that message catering
specifically to the current patrons almost instantaneously to any or all of the
bars displays, enhancing additional sales to the current customers in the
The owner of a supermarket, with Digital Signage, may notice that
certain of her fruit products are nearing their expiration date. By broadcasting a message
over the displays, she may be able to sell those fruit products at a discount before they
spoil. Some players even incorporate POS data that can perform this task automatically
through data integration with trigger points. With the weather data, the temperature may
trigger specific ads to display, such as a sale on bottled water when the temperature
exceeds 80 degrees or yet a promotion for umbrellas when rain is forecasted in the
feed. The creative possibilities are endless.
caters to both manufacturers and end users. As digital signage grows and matures in width
and technology, Data Call is committed to living on the cutting edge, constantly working
on innovations in ease of use and expansion.
The Data Call
team has worked tirelessly in an effort to continually improve the delivery, security and
variety of real-time information to the Digital Signage community, providing the most
effective and complete live feeds in the industry.
CEOCFO: Mr. Ammons, what was your vision for Data Call
when it started and how has that developed?
Mr. Ammons: About four or five years ago, I had
a vision to deliver live sports and news to LED signs in sports bars. After long
discussions and tiresome nights with our CTO, my vision developed into a nifty little
product; this product delivered a live sports and news feeds through this little wireless
chipset displaying the news on LED signs. How cool is that? No phone wires or internet.
Remember, back then most people were on dial up if they had internet at all. I thought
that we could sell these systems by the millions to sports bars. Who would say no? What we
quickly learned was that viewers in California did not really care to view the same
information as those in New York; well, thats when we set out to reverse
broadcasting. I know that seems strange or crazy, but we figured - wouldnt it be
neat if you could pick and choose only what information that you would like to see? This
has never been accomplished. Lets take television; we cannot as viewers change the
information without changing the channel. We have no control over what the broadcasters
decide that we should look at. Our attitude was quite cavalier, but if we could create
this pick and choose environment, this could change the way people view televisions. Of
course almost immediately there came a lot of critics and yes, the people that thought I
was a complete nut case. But lets fast forward about three years and several million
dollars; we did reverse conventional broadcasting as we know it. Our custom information is
now being viewed at Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium, BAE Systems, 3M Digital
Signage, Wrigley Field, Buffalo Airport, Virgin Mobile, and the list goes on. We have
immerged as probably the largest information provider for the Digital Signage Industry and
nudging into information delivery to cell phones."
CEOCFO: Please explain what you are providing.
Mr. Ammons: We provide information on your TV
screen that you choose what you want to view. Most of your audience is familiar with
Bloomberg television. Through our web application and software, you can create your own
CEOCFO: What is the current status of the business and where
do you go from here?
Mr. Ammons: We are publicly traded now. We have
installs in Mexico and Canada. Our information feeds are found in elevators as well as
condominiums in New York and Florida. In some applications, you simply touch the screen
and pull up live traffic, weather, Doppler radar, live sports scores, and world headlines.
We do business with 95% of all the digital signage companies in the country. We also do
business with 3M Digital Signage (NYSE-MMM). That alone took over a year and a half to ink
that deal. Last week we just introduced our data for the first time ever on the NEC Inaset
IP Phone; it is an IP desktop phone. It has a row of assigned buttons on the right; you
simply push a button and you get a live traffic in your area or live Doppler radar for
your area, or other information from Data Call. That project took us about seven months
working direct with NEC, I am quite proud of this project. In fact, we just did a news
release last week about it.
CEOCFO: Who is your target market and how do you reach your
Mr. Ammons: Our target market is businesses. Let
me give an example: Bank of America Corporation (NYSE-BAC), who shows exclusively CNN
inside their lobby. What happens when Wells Fargo (NYSE-WFC) advertises on CNN? Well,
thats not a good scenario for Bank of America. Ditech Funding knows that Bank of
America shoes CNN in their lobbies, and Ditech has been blitzing their advertising
campaign on CNN for the last four years. Who knows how many billions of dollars they
Ditech has taken from Bank of America on refinancing or mortgages. Digital signage applies
to every industry out there from shopping malls to department stores. Heres another
example Wal-Mart (NYSE-WMT) who was one of the first major companies in the country to
switch over to digital signage. They show the price of services, hours and operations;
and, of course, the import of commercials. Digital signage replaces television. Television
has not been changed in fifty years; well, maybe the box that displays it; whether it be
color, or now they are plasma and LCD. These are large screens as well. Actually,
television is finally changing and I am proud to say that Data Call is on top of the
industry. Data Call is just going to get bigger and bigger.
CEOCFO: Why do people have to look at something everywhere?
Mr. Ammons: Systems are now in place where if
you are waiting in line at the doctors office, the supermarket, sitting in a lobby
fumbling with your cell phone, digital signage is there to entertain and inform you. It is
just a unique industry that most of America has just recently accepted without even
realizing it. In Las Vegas, digital signage is everywhere. Times Square has digital
signage out there on the streets with live information. Digital signage tends to be very
entertaining with its infotainment. Department stores or the grocery stores have the
ability to advertise, in store, their products and services, and may also advertise for
their vendors or other local businesses. Back to Bank of America - their huge, but they
still today have this white board that they use a dry-erase to display their mortgage or
loan rates. Why shouldnt they put their products and services and even rates on
their TV, which they can do, it makes perfect sense. Digital Signage gives them an
opportunity to advertise in their own store; on their own TV, with live data, live
We have over 40 types of information feeds to choose from. You can develop your own TV;
input your commercials, price and services. Restaurants love it because instead of relying
on little table tent cards, their message or special is now on their own TV. They can
promote happy hour or dinner specials or maybe they have a band playing this Sunday. Why
cant they use their TV to advertise their own products instead of showing
unfavorable dining content like CNN with suicide bombers? TV is the last appliance that
has not been changed. The pay phone has gone by the wayside, the travel agency; why
its even cheaper now to use your cell phone than your landline. TV was the last
thing to be changed; well now it has. With the networks, you could never control data on
your TV; you were forced to look at what they thought you should look at. With Data Call,
and our partners, we have changed that. Utilizing television for the benefit of your
business absolutely makes sense.
CEOCFO: How do you choose your targets?
Mr. Ammons: We have spent a large amount of
money at trade shows convincing people that this is real, one is not simply going to look
at advertising content alone, you need something there to keep you coming back to that
screen - Like traffic, weather, or even market details. Previously, the only two
choices for information were Associated Press and Reuters, but they push the whole chunk
of information to you, you cannot choose what you want. Data Call changed all that. With
Data Call, one can pick and choose what info you want on your screens.
CEOCFO: How do you get your customers?
Mr. Ammons: I wish I had a million dollars to
just exclusively tell people about Data Call, but the venture capitalists would not touch
us, they thought I was a nut. There has been no funding by outside sources; I have always
knocked on doors and raised the money myself. I wish we had enough marketing capital to
let people know we are here. The industry knows who we are, but the American public does
not know who we are. If they found out I think we would be the darling of Wall Street. The
public just does not know we exist yet.
CEOCFO: You have had some additions to your management team;
what is changing there and do you need to build the team additionally?
Mr. Ammons: I am quite happy with the management
team. I just brought Ed Kessing in as vice-president of operations; he was the former
campus director for MTI College of Business and Technology here in Houston. He has been a
family friend of mine for well over twenty years. Ed is a top-notch professional. Ed is
also an Eagle Scout if you ever have the chance to put an Eagle in your management
team. Do it. Ed brings a lot of structure in the planning and execution of Data
Calls tasks at hand. We have a great top management team and yes, we need stronger
growth in our marketing. That takes more capital. We only operate with six key individuals
and we have always kept a low profile and overhead. We do not have a large staff of
secretaries and assistants. We stay lean. I poured a lot in on my end to get the company
public, which we are and we are fully reporting. We did not buy a shell or reverse merge
it, we filed an SB2, which is out of the gate clean. The main thing is we have
approximately 65 million shares out there and some great shareholders that believe in my
dream. Everybody is quite delighted with it.
CEOCFO: What is the financial picture?
Mr. Ammons: We are not burning millions of
dollars every month; our expenses total is about 45 to 50 thousand per month. Therefore,
we are extremely low maintenance. It does not take a large effort to roll out high
installs. Take for instance the Subway sandwich shops; we installed the first forty in
merely five minutes. We have always focused on perfecting our information feeds - nothing
else. It is a simple email and about a three-minute download. Then its all about
recurring revenue. We are kind of like a cable or phone company. Yet, we do not have
customer hardware breakdowns. We have charter customers like Midwest Airlines out of
Milwaukee that has been with us for well over a year. 3M Digital Signage has now been a
customer for some time. They really did their homework on Data Call when I had my 5 staff
members against their what 80,000? And yes, they signed. Data Call is a rock solid
company. We do not have executive offices, or company cars. Financially we are not burning
millions of dollars. I think in the next four or five months, Data Call will be turning
large profits and we will be good as gold.
CEOCFO: In closing, tell us why potential investors should
be interested now.
Mr. Ammons: Most investors want to go for the
next big thing you know. We all experienced the internet boom and bust. Google just came
out and exploded everywhere with $500.00 a share, so the internet is back and it will keep
getting stronger and stronger. If you take a look at software companies and technology
companies, they are back in favor with everyone, knowing that everybody got toasted on the
investments. Data Call is just a new kid on the block and yes, it too is just going to get
bigger and bigger. If an investor is looking for a short-term growth, weve got it;
if looking at long-term gains, weve got it. Did I mention that we started this
company on a kitchen table? The hard work is done. We are already sending feeds to Mexico
and Canada. We have a great growth rate every month. Remember, our customers never stop
paying us, so if you fast-forward Data Call a year or two years, it will be a monster of a
company. If you look at the potential of this company with the technology, internet,
software and cutting-edge stuff, Data Call is it.
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